Over The Wine

A poem by Victor James Daley

Very often, when I'm drinking,
Of the old days I am thinking,
Of the good old days when living was a Joy,
And each morning brought new Pleasure,
And each night brought Dreams of Treasure,
And I thank the Lord that I was once a Boy.

When I hear the old hands spinning
Yams of gold there was for winning
In the Roaring Days, that now so silent are,
And my brain is whirling, reeling
With their legends, comes the feeling
That the Rainbow Gold I knew was finer far;

For not all the trains in motion,
All the ships that sail the ocean,
With their cargoes; all the money in the mart,
Could purchase for an hour
Such a treasure as the Flower,
As the Flower of Hope that blossomed in my heart.

Now I sit, and smile, and listen
To my friends whose eyes still glisten,
Though their beards are showing threads of silver-grey,
As they talk of Fame and Glory,
The old, old pathetic story,
While they drink "Good luck" to luck that keeps away.

When I hear a politician
Speak of honours and position,
And the time to come when he will sit on high,
Then I feel a sovran pity
For this species of banditti,
Raising trouble while the golden time goes by.

Long ago I did discover
It was fine to be a lover,
But the heartache and the worry spoil the game;
Now I think, like an old vandal,
That the game's not worth the candle,
And I know some other vandals think the same.

And I hate the cant of striving,
Slaving, planning, and contriving,
Struggling onward for a paltry little prize.
O, it fills my heart with sorrow
This mad grasping for To-morrow,
While To-day from gold to purple dusks and dies.

Very often, when I'm drinking,
Of the old days I am thinking,
Of the good old days when living was a Joy.
When I see folk marching dreary
To the tune of Miserere,
Then I thank the Lord that I am still a Boy.

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